Letters

Letters

Letters

12/05/2012

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‘War zone’  
My neighbors and I are very concerned about the recent helicopter crash in our city. 
We abhor the overuse of these machines and fear that the next accident may take citizens’ lives.
I have lived in Pasadena for more than 30 years but am feeling more and more alienated by the constant use of police helicopters in areas where they do not best serve our citizens.
I am a teacher, and my night’s sleep is constantly interrupted by police helicopters buzzing overhead while responding to minor, non- emergency situations.
The City Council has basically given the Pasadena Police Department carte blanche to use helicopters when and where they choose. They have to step up and respond to citizens’ complaints and give the PPD clear guidelines for when and where to use these machines.
Surely, our city is best served by policemen who are on the ground, in close contact with those they serve, not circling overhead?
It has got to the point where I often feel like I am living in a war zone!
We have had enough and hope to work toward collecting signatures to put this issue on the ballot.
 
 ~  LORRAINE MONTGOMERY, PASADENA
 
One brave senator
Last month, we lost former US Sen. George McGovern. Although many will recall his disastrous 1972 loss to Richard Nixon and his subsequent leadership in getting us out of Vietnam, his truly lasting legacy will be his war on hunger and malnutrition.
In 1977, following extensive public hearings, McGovern’s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published dietary goals for the United States, a precursor to today’s dietary guidelines. It marked the first time that a US government document recommended reduced meat consumption. 
The meat industry forced the committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new edition. It then abolished the committee, voted McGovern out of office and warned government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. (“Food Politics” by Marion Nestle, 2007).
Yet, after 35 years of studies linking meat consumption with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases, the MyPlate icon, representing USDA’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends vegetables, fruits and grains, but never mentions meat and shunts dairy off to one side (www.choosemyplate.gov/). 
And it all started with one brave senator from South Dakota. 

~ VINNIE CASTANZA, VENTURA

No more taxes
The unemployment report at 7.8 percent gives a false impression. Not counted were those who have stopped looking for a job. Unemployment is closer to 14 percent with more than 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed.  More people are looking to the Fair Tax Plan to solve this nation’s economic woes. It would (1) give every worker his or her full paycheck, (2) permit businesses to compete in the world market without having to pay high taxes and (3) require all the current tax dodgers to pay their fair share.
Any doubters of whether this would work need only think what would happen if everyone had a full paycheck to put back into the economy and if every business and individual did not have to pay federal income taxes or report anything to the IRS ever again.  For more information: fairtax.org

~ ROY T. NEWSOM, VIA EMAIL

Tyranny is here
Freedom of the press? Really? The new Obama administration policy requires the press to use government computers, software and transmission lines when writing about data from inside the halls of the Department of Labor. 
Property rights? Really? An ice cream stand owner for 26 years was shut down, putting people out of work. Why? Because he expanded the stand without a permit.
In Maryland’s Montgomery County, bake sales are banned because the state doesn’t approve of the food!
Second Amendment? What’s that? Hillary wants to turn over US sovereignty to the UN to take control of our guns.
Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? Really? The Supreme Court recently approved strip searches and incarceration for unpaid traffic tickets. 
FEMA camps? The Department of Homeland Security has a decontamination program that promises round-ups, forced unclothing, detoxification, mandatory vaccines and further detention for dissenters.
Cell phones worth $2.18 billion are given to those collecting unemployment. Who pays?  You do! 
The National Security Administration’s $2-billion data center in Utah, which is supposed to intercept, decipher and analyze anything communicated through any medium, will be the property of the government. They will be able to access private emails, cell phone calls and track Google searches. That will also include all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital “pocket litter.”
Who pays?  You do!
If you don’t mind tyranny, keep voting for the same people. 
Or you can vote for a citizen candidate that isn’t rich and well known. Check out GOOOH.com.

~ KATHERYN BURSON, VIA EMAIL

FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Pregnancy and exercise — let’s get real,” Oct. 25
Great article. Yes, celebrities put a lot of pressure on women to look svelte and fabulous after the baby ... Great to know that there is somewhere women can go for expert advice and feel good about themselves after baby.   

~ KAY

Re: “Bad news,” Oct. 25
Deep down in their hearts, people know when they’re being fed a horse-apple pie, and the print edition of America’s propaganda corporate “news” is readily recognized for what it is, rich people instructing poor people how they are obligated to keep making rich people richer. The devil may be giving discounts, but once you've sold your soul, you're gone.   

~ DAND

Re: “Saving Altadena,” Sept. 13
The two proposed Wal-Mart Neighborhood Stores will be just less than 30,000 square feet, not 15,000. They will carry 60 percent grocery and 40 percent “other,” including a pharmacy, pet food and care, stationery, greeting cards, and school and office supply. All of these categories compete with nearby businesses.   

~ LORINSCOTT 

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Comments

Lorraine Montgomery is not alone. There are many of us in the city who are tired of this issue being ignored.

When Police Chief Sanchez took over, I attended one of the community meetings in which he was introduced, where I asked specifically if he would support a public review of the police department's helicopter policies. He said yes, he would.

To date, unless I missed something, there has been NO such review and it's been business as usual with the flyboys. Whenever the issue is brought up by citizens before the city council it is dismissed with, at most, the usual platitudes about crime and safety, despite the fact no one has ever come up with a study showing that the helicopters are more effective than units on the ground in lowering the overall crime rate and in fact many studies show the money spent on them would be far more effective if directed into expanded community policing programs.

In an era in which the city is forced to make drastic cuts to other programs and departments - including the police department - the fact that the helicopters remain sacrosanct is inexplicable.

posted by grecodan on 12/11/12 @ 02:57 p.m.

I agree with Ms. Montgomery. When I first moved to Pasadena, I was appalled that the city allowed commercial helicopters to buzz overhead constantly and at all hours of the night. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was the city of Pasadena itself that was disturbing my sleep!

Most cities do not have to sacrifice peace and quiet to the alter of safety. In fact, the recent tragic helicopter crash remind us that this extravagant program poses risks to more than our sleep.

I have called the police to ask why there is a helicopter circling at 2AM, and they always cite something such as domestic abuse or robbery. Sad as those are, they do not require helicopters. Save the money, and put more cops on the ground where they can help. Write your councilperson today!

posted by pasHomeOwner on 12/11/12 @ 03:26 p.m.

I have been trying to get something done about the rediculous amount of helicopter surveilance and noise pollution for at least the last 2 years. I've written the mayor, spoken to the heliport captain and spoke in front of the safety committee at the heliport when the "investigated" the situation. The Pasadena Police Department apparently believes it is above the law and have no problem annoying the citizens of the city. As a real estate broker, I KNOW the noise problem and invasion of privacy are affecting real estate values. Try relaxing in your hot tub with the war of the worlds buzzing over your back yard. It's pathetic!

posted by sickofnoise on 12/11/12 @ 03:44 p.m.
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